Liverpool have to swiftly put the weekend behind them and channel any frustration towards the visiting Rangers, as the Champions League campaign continues under the Anfield lights.
Liverpool vs. Rangers
Champions League Group Stage (3) | Anfield
October 4, 2022 | 8pm (BST)
The Reds are far from the all-conquering side we all admired last season and they’ll need to have the bit between their teeth against what will be a spirited Rangers side.
Here are 10 key things to know ahead of Tuesday’s kickoff.
1. Historic meeting
Incredibly, this clash is the first-ever competitive meeting between the two sides, despite a shared history of 130 years!
The two clubs have played out 10 friendlies in that time, though, the last coming in 2011 when Kenny Dalglish took his side to Ibrox and Fabio Aurelio scored an own goal.
In fact, the Reds’ only previous European Cup meeting with a Scottish opponent was in 1980/81 when they beat Alex Ferguson’s Aberdeen 5-0 on aggregate in the last 16, going on to lift the cup.
2. Familiar faces
Davies, on the other hand, only left on a permanent deal this summer and has since made a total of four appearances, amounting to 157 minutes.
The centre-back has been named on the bench in both of the Gers’ Champions League games this season but a suspension to James Sands could open the door for a start, while Kent has played the full 90 in defeats to both Ajax and Napoli.
3. Any players returning for the Reds?
Konate could make his return to the matchday squad for the first time since the Community Shield, though, while Kelleher may also be named to allow Klopp to name a 12-man bench.
The injury list is a lot more palatable these days, let’s hope it remains that way for some time!
Liverpool squad in training on Monday
Defenders: Van Dijk, Matip, Konate, Gomez, Phillips, Alexander-Arnold, Tsimikas, Ramsay
Forwards: Salah, Diaz, Firmino, Jota, Nunez, Carvalho
4. A handful of changes from Klopp?
Klopp has long stressed the need for consistency when looking to find rhythm and results but it would come as no surprise if changes are to be had on Tuesday evening.
5. Kent and Davies both to start?
While Giovanni van Bronckhorst has overseen a pointless Champions League campaign to date, in the Scottish Premiership his side have won six, drawn one and lost one of their first eight games.
It leaves them just two points behind leaders Celtic and they arrive at Anfield off the back of two victories, against Dundee United (2-1) and Hearts (4-0).
Forward Antonio Colak will be the man to watch, having already scored 11 goals this season, but the Gers have been prone to individual errors and that could very well be their undoing.
Alfredo Morelos will come into contention for this match, as too former Southampton midfielder Steven Davis, but Rangers have a number of injuries to contend with – with John Souttar and Filip Helander out and doubts over Tom Lawrence and Kemar Roofe.
Possible Rangers XI: McGregor; Tavernier, Goldson, Davies, Barisic; Lundstram, Davis, Jack; Tillman, Colak, Kent
6. How is Group A shaping up?
After two matches, Napoli currently sit at the top of Group A thanks to a full complement of points, with Liverpool occupying second spot over Ajax, with both teams on three points.
With two successive defeats, Rangers sit at the bottom of the table having yet to score a goal while conceding seven.
While this match takes place at Anfield, Ajax host Napoli in what will be an interesting tie to keep an eye on such are the tight margins at what will be the halfway stage.
7. Did you know?
It’s been one of those kind of seasons so far whereby Liverpool have looked a shell of their former selves.
We’ve all been trying to put a finger on what is exactly the root cause but it appears a culmination of factors has led us here, and the Reds love making life harder for themselves – as was the case vs. Brighton.
And when you read that Liverpool have now only led at half-time in three of their last 20 games in all competitions, and two in ten games this season, it only adds to the frustration and bewilderment.
The Reds need to rediscover the art of starting quick and being alive from the first whistle, not after the opposition have scored.
8. “Defending is an art”
Speaking to the press, Klopp touched on Liverpool conceding the same goal time and time again this season and why the lack of intensity is opening the gaps up to the opposition:
“We concede now similar goals, let me say it like this, where they go through the same gaps.
“The special problem we have is that we have a really brave way of defending usually, and when the timing in our defending is not perfect, then we leave a gap open.
“That was always the case, by the way, but because of the pressure we put on the boy on the ball, nobody really recognised it, because we closed it with intensity, if you want.
“We have to be more compact. We have that in our mind, we know that, but in the moment it’s going well, you do it and you do it again. We said it last week, I think, that defending is kind of an art.”
Let’s hope the Reds have a masterpiece in store for us against Rangers.
9. We’ve seen this referee before
The referee for the occasion is Clement Turpin (FRA) and the Reds last encountered him in the Champions League final back in May.
It was the fourth time Turpin has overseen a Liverpool game and the first defeat under his watch with two victories and one draw for the Reds in his previous three games dating back to 2015/16.
Turpin has refereed one Rangers game, a 4-2 win at Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League last February.
10. How can you watch?
Liverpool vs. Rangers is to be shown live on BT Sport 2 in the UK, with coverage starting at 6.30pm (BST) ahead of the 8pm kickoff.
But if you fancy some biased commentary then This Is Anfield’s matchday live blog is the place to be! Henry Jackson will keep you entertained with all the updates, and, hopefully, plenty of goal announcements for the Reds from 7.15pm.
Just win, please!